I recently read Winston Churchill’s little volume Painting as a Pastime. Before he gets to the what and why of painting, he describes reading and the unique power books hold. They contain, he says, an
“infinitely varied store of knowledge and wisdom which the human race has accumulated and preserved, pride, even in its most innocent forms, is chased from the heart by feelings of awe not untinged with sadness.”
Then Churchill gets really depressing by encouraging us to think of all the books we’ll never have time for and all the tales we will never know. Books are treasures. Churchill writes,
“Peer into [books]. Let them fall open where they will. Read on from the first sentence that arrests the eye. Then turn to another. Make a voyage of discovery, taking soundings of uncharted seas. Set them back on their shelves with your own hands.
While there is (sadly) not enough time to read every book ever written, don’t waste your time on worthless ones. This list contains classics — books that expound the universal themes of life, have stood the test of time, have to be read carefully and studied, and make you think.
You cannot make your child love reading. If you have a child who doesn’t enjoy reading, you can expose them to best books by reading aloud and taking the voyage of discovery alongside them.
This list is designed with middle school students in mind (don’t forget to check out our high school list). Although it isn’t exhaustive, these are some of my top recommendations and personal favorites from my own middle school homeschooling years:
* Contains violence that may be a bit mature for some audiences
**Contains sexual content that may be a bit mature for some audiences